Traveling to a foreign country is always an adventure. Taking in the new sights, new smells, and delicious food is all part of the experience. However, if you really want to immerse yourself while you’re there, there is no better way than to learn the local language. These days, you can get by in most common tourist destinations with English and a few basic words of the local language. But when you don’t speak the local language, you can never fully experience the culture or interact with the locals.
We’ve previously traveled to Russia, where we did not speak the local language, and while we enjoyed our trip and saw the famous sights, we were not able to interact with the locals in restaurants, at hotels, and other people we met along the way because we did not know how to converse in Russian. It left us with the feeling that there was more benefit to travel than we were able to get out of it because we were missing out on that human connection and truly understanding the local culture.
With an upcoming trip to Mexico for three months, we knew that we wanted to have more than just a basic understanding of Spanish. We downloaded Babbel, which is an intuitive language learning app, and started learning each day.Here is why you need to learn Spanish with Babbel before your next trip!
Disclaimer: Babbel provided us with a subscription and sponsored this blog post. All opinions of why you need to learn Spanish with Babbel are our own. Click here for the fulldisclosurestatement.
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Why We Wanted To Learn Spanish
Together, we’ve traveled to well over 50 countries, and we speak fluent English and German, as well as basic French and Spanish. We’ve pretty much gotten by everywhere we’ve traveled, but not always without struggles. When we began planning for our extended three-month trip to Mexico, we knew that we wanted to get more out of our experience.
We wanted to be able to interact with locals wherever we went, understand conversations between others, and not be just another tourist. If we could learn Spanish, we figured we would have a richer travel experience.
How To Learn Spanish With Babbel
We had both taken beginner Spanish years ago in university, but everything we had previously learned was long gone to the passage of time. We wanted to learn Spanish on our own time when we could easily fit it into our busy schedules, and we also wanted to learn more than just memorized vocabulary lists and verb conjugation. We wanted to be able to speak Spanish quickly, and by using words and phrases that are actually used day to day in the Spanish-speaking world and that are relevant to traveling.
This is where Babbel shines.
Babbel is a language-learning app that offers easy to digest lessons, which are about 10-15 minutes in length each. You can start right from the beginner level, or further along at an intermediate or advanced level if you already have some basic language skills.
You start with useful and practical sayings in your new language that you could begin applying in real life right away, like how to introduce yourself and ask basic questions. One of the things we really liked about the Babbel app from the beginning was the variety of ways you learn your new words and phrases. You will translate from written English to Spanish (or whichever language you are learning) and vice versa, from listening to written and vice versa, and in different methods such as matching phrases, filling in the blanks, real-life dialogues, and more.
We were able to complete lessons every day, and they were easy to fit in throughout the day whenever we needed a quick break. Learning with the Babbel app was always a welcome break from the workday, and as we progressed through the lessons, it became more and more exciting as we began to see the results of our hard work. Not only were we understanding much more, both written and verbal, but we could respond to questions and create new sentences as well!
What sets Babbel apart from other language-learning apps is the full learning ecosystem that you have access to. Not only do you get access to all of the lessons, which you can repeat or go back to as many times as you like, but there are podcasts, games, and even live classes that you can join, all included with your subscription.
Our favorites were the podcasts and games that made commuting and long car rides much more fun and productive!
Eager to take our Spanish lessons to the next level, we began to supplement our Babbel learning with watching our favorite movies and TV shows with Spanish subtitles. We soon graduated to switching the language to Spanish with English subtitles, and what was amazing was that the lessons from Babbel had already prepared us for more Spanish comprehension than we had imagined!
The Real Test: Three Months In Mexico
Learning a language is great, but you are ultimately learning it to converse and interact with others, and as we prepared to head out on our three months in Mexico, we were excited about all of the Spanish conversations we were going to have, enriching our experience along the way. As we checked in at our first hotel, we were immediately putting our Spanish to the test as we conversed with the friendly check-in agent, who asked about our travels and how we were doing. This was just the beginning though.
The longer we spent in Mexico, the more we wanted to continue learning with Babbel; and of course, we could easily continue the lessons through the app, whenever we wanted. Being immersed in a Spanish-speaking culture accelerated our learning pace, and the further we traveled off the main tourist path, the more essential our Spanish-speaking skills became.
We enjoyed speaking with our boat captain on an excursion in Los Cabos, the barista at our nearby coffee shop in Puerto Vallarta, and the owner of a cenote in the Yucatan. In all of these cases, the people we were interacting with did not speak English. Learning Spanish with Babbel allowed us to have some great conversations and make new friends along the way!
Most Frequently Asked Questions When Learning Spanish With Babbel
We had many questions before we started using Babbel, and had previously tested a variety of other language learning apps. We are answering the most common questions about what it is like to learn Spanish with Babbel.
Is Learning Spanish Worth It?
Absolutely! While the most useful language to learn for your particular trip would be the most common local language, Spanish is actually a great language to begin with. As Spanish is one of the Romance languages, if you have any basic understanding of French or Italian, you’ll be surprised at how easy Spanish is to learn. Additionally, Spanish is the official language in over 20 countries, and it is widely spoken in several more. It is also the second most spoken language in the world, even more than English!
If learning Spanish with Babbel is not what you are looking for, Babbel also offers German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, English, and Russian!
How Quickly Can I Learn Spanish With Babbel?
When it comes to learning a language, no matter which way you learn it, you get out what you put in. Generally speaking, if you don’t put in the time to learn the new language, you will not get the results you want. With Babbel, the lessons have been developed by over 100 language experts, making sure that you get the most language learning from the time you spend on the app. If you are dedicated, Babbel says you can start having basic conversations in a new language in just 3 weeks, by completing the short and fun lessons each day.
Can I Learn Spanish In 3 Months?
Yes you can! In fact, with Babbel, you can learn important vocabulary covering 22 topics in only 3 weeks. You will be able to speak conversationally and get around Spanish-speaking countries on your next trip! The Babbel app includes listening exercises, and you will be able to learn how native speakers pronounce words. Given Babbel’s lesson structure of using word and image matching, dialogue training method, and speaking as well as listening modules, you are more likely to retain your learned Spanish skills.
Can Spanish Be Self-Taught?
Babbel makes it incredibly easy to learn Spanish without having to attend any schools or take unexciting language classes. It’s a great way to learn Spanish by yourself, at your own time and speed, and whenever your schedule allows.
How Much Does It Cost To Learn Spanish With Babbel?
Babbel offers a variety of different subscriptions, ranging from a 3-month to a lifetime subscription. But we have an exclusive limited-time discount that can get you up to 55% off. You can even get 50% off Babbel’s Lifetime subscription, which grants unlimited access to all of the languages for life!
Why You Need To Learn Spanish With Babbel Before Your Next Trip
If you are looking to take your travels to the next level and fully experience a culture like never before, learning the local language is key. Whenever you start planning your next adventure to Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, or any other Spanish-speaking country, make sure you start to learn Spanish with Babbel before your next trip!
Update: The folks at Babbel are extending a special offer to our readers. Follow this link to Get 55% OFF A New Language Today!